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California Environmental Quality Act delays new home build in San Diego even without an environmental reason

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I grew up in California, and I’m the last member of my family to live here. One of my sisters and her family moved to Oregon. For her family, it wasn’t an economic issue as much as a quality of life issue. In a recent ranking of states, California ranked the worst state for quality of life.

My parents recently bought a home in Las Vegas, and my eldest sister already lives out there. In the past two years, my family has moved out of California because of taxes, cost of living, quality of life, traffic, and a whole host of other issues.

California’s middle-class is leaving because California isn’t the “Golden State” it once was.

One major issue we are facing in California is a housing crisis, and it isn’t due to lack of developers wanting to build more housing. One main reason is overbearing government regulations.

The Building Industry Association recently commissioned a study that found that up to 40 percent of the cost of a new home is attributable to the 45 regulatory agencies that govern home building in California.

As a candidate for California State Controller, I will not have any legislative ability to address this issue, but I plan to introduce Trickle-up-Taxation to voters with a ballot initiative in 2020. Trickle-up-Taxation will indirectly help to solve our housing crisis because with Trickle-up-Taxation, regulatory reform and realigning of regulatory agencies will be necessary, and those reforms will not only help with the housing crisis but a myriad of other failed state governmental policies and structures.

Trickle-up-Taxation isn’t just about bringing much-needed tax dollars into your community to address the needs of your community. Trickle-up-Taxation will give greater flexibility to your local elected officials to streamline new development and cut down costs.

A perfect example of overbearing government regulation is the halting of a dilapidated California Theatre building in downtown San Diego. A theatre that has been closed since 1990 has fallen into disrepair and was scheduled for demolition for a new 40-story residential tower.

The new construction has been halted because the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that a city’s environmental report includes several alternatives for the site including at least one preservation alternative.

Since the city’s report did include several alternatives, it did not consider at least one preservation alternative. Thus the court ruled that a new report had to be issued and at least one preservation alternative must be considered.

My question is, why should one preservation alternative even be considered? The building is from 1927, in disrepair, and its contaminated with lead and asbestos. Cleaning up asbestos and lead is very expensive, and no developer in their right mind would spend the millions necessary to remove that and preserve a building that will not bring in a reasonable rate of return or even a profit.

CEQA and the State of California should have no say in what happens to this building. We already have codes on how to properly clean up and dispose of asbestos and lead, and those codes are needed but spending thousands of dollars to consider preserving a building the owner and the city do not want, is utter nonsense.

Does regulatory reform that Trickle-up-Taxation ensure your city will do the right thing?

No, it doesn’t. San Francisco has proven that its local elected officials can delay development for over five years and require the owner to pay over a million dollars and doing study after study and still delaying the new housing development with nonsense that a building that was built in 1924 and was gutted when it was turned into a laundromat may have, but weren’t not sure, have some historical significance because neighborhood groups used the land once upon a time.

Government regulations are necessary for the protection of residents and the environment. I’m not arguing government doesn’t play a role, what I am arguing is that in the San Diego case, CEQA and the State of California have overstepped their bounds and are medlying in what should be a local issue, not a state issue. If San Francisco wants to make it difficult for their developers then so be it, they have that right.

My opinion is CEQA, and the State of California is delaying housing that is desperately needed and due to their government overreach, are adding millions of dollars of cost to new home build projects and thus will result in more expensive homes and years of delays.

Therefore, fewer people will be able to afford decent housing, and if they can’t find housing they will do what my family and many other Californians are doing; they are leaving the state for greener pasture elsewhere.


Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at cacontroller.com, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

The ‘church fathers’ and the Book of Enoch

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The church fathers and the Book of Enoch

This article first appeared in Torah Driven Life. The site appears to be down currently, so we’re including this page here for reference.

The following is a compilation of attestations to the authenticity and acceptance of the Book of Enoch as Scripture by the fathers of the early church. This list is, by no means, an exhaustive list of quotations from the church fathers, but is rather just skimming of the surface. At any rate, the case is clear, that even beyond Jude’s open reference to it, the Book of Enoch had some degree of acceptance in early Christianity.

Tertullian and the Book of Enoch

Tertullian, an early church father and founder of Latin Christianity, wrote a few positive things concerning the Book of Enoch. Tertulian writes as follows in his 2nd century work, On the Apparel of Women I 3:1-3.

“I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch, which has assigned this order of action to angels, is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either. I suppose they did not think that, having been published before the deluge, it could have safely survived that world-wide calamity, the abolisher of all things. If that is the reason for rejecting it, let them recall to their memory that Noah, the survivor of the deluge, was the great-grandson of Enoch himself; and he, of course, had heard and remembered, from domestic renown and hereditary tradition, concerning his own great-grandfather’s ‘grace in the sight of God,’ (Genesis 6:8) and concerning all his preachings; since Enoch had given no other charge to Methuselah than that he should hand on the knowledge of them to his posterity. Noah therefore, no doubt, might have succeeded in the trusteeship of his preaching; or, had the case been otherwise, he would not have been silent alike concerning the disposition of things made by God, his Preserver, and concerning the particular glory of his own house.

“If Noah had not had this conservative power by so short a route, there would still be this consideration to warrant our assertion of the genuineness of this Scripture: he could equally have renewed it, under the Spirit’s inspiration, after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document of the Jewish literature is generally agreed to have been restored through Ezra.

“But since Enoch in the same Scripture has preached likewise concerning the Lord, nothing at all must be rejected by us which pertains to us; and we read that ‘every Scripture suitable for edification is divinely inspired.’ (2 Timothy 3:16) By the Jews it may now seem to have been rejected for that very reason, just like all the other portions nearly which tell of Christ. Nor, of course, is this fact wonderful, that they did not receive some Scriptures which spake of Him whom even in person, speaking in their presence, they were not to receive. To these considerations is added the fact that Enoch possesses a testimony in the Apostle Jude.” (Jude 1:14-15)

Origen and the Book of Enoch

Origen appeals to the Book of Enoch as having the same canonical authority as he does the Book of Psalms. He writes as follows in De Principiis IV.

“But some one will perhaps inquire whether we can obtain out of Scripture any grounds for such an understanding of the subject. Now I think some such view is indicated in the Psalms, when the prophet says, ‘My eyes have seen your imperfection;’ (Psalm 139:16) by which the mind of the prophet, examining with keener glance the first principles of things, and separating in thought and imagination only between matter and its qualities, perceived the imperfection of God, which certainly is understood to be perfected by the addition of qualities. Enoch also, in his book, speaks as follows: ‘I have walked on even to imperfection;’ which expression I consider may be understood in a similar manner, viz., that the mind of the prophet proceeded in its scrutiny and investigation of all visible things, until it arrived at that first beginning in which it beheld imperfect matter existing without ‘qualities.’ For it is written in the same book of Enoch, ‘I beheld the whole of matter;’ which is so understood as if he had said: ‘I have clearly seen all the divisions of matter which are broken up from one into each individual species either of men, or animals, or of the sky, or of the sun, or of all other things in this world.’”

These quotations which he attributes to Enoch are not found in the Ethiopic text of the Book of Enoch, upon which our modern translations are based. There are, however, two sufficient reasons to believe that Origen is still quoting from the Book of Enoch. First, notice how Origen mishandled Psalm 139:16, “My eyes have seen your imperfection,” as if to indicate that God had imperfections which could be seen. Psalm 139:16 is more accurately translated, “Mine unformed substance Thine eyes saw.” (YLT) So it is very possible that Origen was simply incorrectly quoting passages that do exist in the Ethiopic text. Second, it is known from the discovery of Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts of Enoch found in the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran that there are large portions of text that are not present in the Ethiopic manuscripts. (See 4Q209 and 4Q211) So it is also possible that he was quoting from portions of Enoch that may have not been translated into the Ethiopic text, and hence have not survived to today.

Irenaeus and the Book of Enoch

Irenaeus, in his work The Proof of the Apostolic Preaching 18, records a condensed retelling of Enoch 6-8. He does this without directly citing the Book of Enoch, yet the citation here is unmistakable.

“And for a very long while wickedness extended and spread, and reached and laid hold upon the whole race of mankind, until a very small seed of righteousness remained among them: and illicit unions took place upon the earth, since angels were united with the daughters of the race of mankind; and they bore to them sons who for their exceeding greatness were called giants. And the angels brought as presents to their wives teachings of wickedness, in that they brought them the virtues of roots and herbs, dyeing in colours and cosmetics, the discovery of rare substances, love-potions, aversions, amours, concupiscence, constraints of love, spells of bewitchment, and all sorcery and idolatry hateful to God; by the entry of which things into the world evil extended and spread, while righteousness was diminished and enfeebled.”

The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas and the Book of Enoch

The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas is frequently ranked among the Apostolic Fathers, i.e. the founding documents of gentile Christianity. This letter contains several blatant quotations from the Book of Enoch, citing it as “Scripture” in Barnabas 16:5-6.

“Again, it was made manifest that the city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be delivered up. For the Scripture says, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days that the Lord shall deliver the sheep of His pasture, and the sheep-fold, and their tower to destruction.’ (Condensed from Enoch 89:54-56) And it took place according to what the Lord said. But let us inquire if a temple of God exists. Yes, it exists, where He Himself said that He makes and perfects it. For it is written, ‘And it shall come to pass when the week is ended that a temple of God shall be built gloriously in the name of the Lord.’ ” (Similar to Enoch 93:6-7)

Given that the writing style of Pseudo-Barnabas does not always give exact quotes from the Scripures, but frequently handles them in a very midrashic style, it is probable that the author is giving a condensed paraphrase of the passages in question from the same version of Enoch we have in our possession today.

Athenagoras and the Book of Enoch

Athenagoras of Athens, in his work 2nd century work Legatio, claims to regard Enoch as a true prophet, and this same work relies heavily upon the angelic cosmology presented in the Book of Enoch.

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News

Ethiopia readies ‘massive offensive’ on al-Shabab in Somalia

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Ethiopia readies massive offensive on al-Shabab in Somalia

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The Ethiopian National Defense Force is confirming an ambush by al-Shabab extremists on an Ethiopian peacekeeping convoy in neighboring Somalia and says Ethiopian forces are preparing a “massive offensive” in response.

A statement on Saturday rejects reports and an al-Shabab claim that several Ethiopian troops were killed. It does not give further details on casualties.

The ambush was reported as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the deadly hotel assault in Nairobi and deadly attacks on forces inside Somalia. The statement does not say exactly when the ambush occurred.

Ethiopia contributes troops to a multinational African Union peacekeeping mission.

The statement says the ambush occurred when the Ethiopian convoy was traveling Burhakaba to Baidoa in Somalia’s southwest.

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Media

Mueller’s office debunks Buzzfeed’s report

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Muellers office debunks Buzzfeeds report

That didn’t take long.

After a flurry of reports surrounding a Buzzfeed article that claimed then-candidate Trump ordered Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a statement from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has debunked it.

Spokesman Peter Carr says, “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

As we noted yesterday, Buzzfeed is not credible. Now, any remnant of credibility they had left is evaporating away. This is not a serious news outlet. They’re just a click-bait farm.


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